Last month Trinity College Dublin set down a marker for inclusive cycling worldwide, by introducing what we believe could be the first dedicated cycle parking spaces for Disabled people anywhere.
The spaces were launched on the first day of Ireland’s National Bike Week and on the eve of the international Velo-city conference, held this year in Dublin. They are located next to Library Square, and are the first of four planned such spots. The move is a result of staff and student initiatives – with around 10% of Trinity’s students registered as having a disability – but we understand that the university also drew heavily upon Wheels for Wellbeing’sGuide to Inclusive Cyclingwhen designing this unique facility.
The new cycle parking spaces, which can accommodate standard and non-standard cycles, are clearly signposted, marked with blue paint, and step-free, as shown by the photos below.
The need for inclusive cycle parking is something that Wheels for Wellbeing has been campaigning on for many years, but which until now has received little attention. Just like all other cyclists, Disabled cyclists need to know that when they embark on a cycling trip they are able to access inclusive, safe and secure cycle parking at the end of their journey. Many use their cycle as a mobility aid and must be confident of being able to park right by their destination if they are going to have the option to cycle at all. But as our researchhas shown, around a third of Disabled cyclists in the UK have experienced being unable to park or store a non-standard cycle somewhere because the facilities were inadequate.
Trinity College’s exciting new facility, however, could prove to be a watershed moment in moving forward thinking on cycle parking and inclusivity, whilst crucially enabling more of its Disabled students and staff to enjoy the physical and mental health benefits that cycling has to offer.
Our Director, Isabelle Clement, was interviewed by The Irish Times as part of the event. You can watch the interview here.